Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Family friendly haven

North Male Atoll., Republic of Maldives 20012

(960) 66-44-888

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At a Glance

The smaller of the two Four Seasons resorts in the Maldives, Kuda Huraa has long been a favorite with families and with surfers.

Indagare Loves

  • The only spa in the Maldives on its own island and reached by three-minute boat ride
  • The reef coral sponsorship and turtle rearing and rescue programs, which involve guests and local villages
  • The Tropic Surf team who works with kids as young as eight as well as the champions who come every summer for world-class competitions

Review

Designed like a Maldivian village with thatched beach villas and overwater bungalows, the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa was one of the first five-star hotels to open in the Maldives, though it was majorly rebuilt after the 2004 tsunami. The 96-room hotel is smaller than its sister resort Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, and since it is only a twenty-five minute boat ride from the airport, it is popular with Asians and Middle Easterners who pop over for short three- or four-day visits and want to avoid the longer seaplane journey to Landaa. Many also prefer the community feeling that this more intimate resort fosters. You are not eating at the same table as other guests (in fact, there are multiple restaurants) but you do pass each other frequently enough that you are likely to be saying hello to familiar faces within a day.

The island is divided (as many here are) into the sunrise and sunset sides depending on whether your views face east or west; and rooms lead on to the beach or drop into the sea depending on whether you choose a beach villa or an overwater one. Both have lovely “modern tropical” Interiors, which translates into airy spaces with high, thatched ceilings, wood floors, enormous sliding glass doors and beachy touches like sea grass carpets, baskets of shells, drift wood accents and light cotton bathrobes printed with a tropical sea motif. The one-bedroom overwater suites have two large sun decks with loungers and steps into the sea and a bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers. All of the rooms feature amenities like wifi, Nespresso machines, Bose sound systems and plasma TVs and DVDs, as well as a dining area for ordering meals in the room.

Two of the resort’s highlights are on prominent view when you arrive at the resort jetty. On one side is the island spa (reachable by boat) and on the other is the water sports center. The spa offers twice daily yoga as well as a range of treatments, including massages on tables with glass views into the lagoon below so you can watch the hypnotic marine life below. And for those who want to get into the sea, the dive center can teach children as young as eight as well as handle advanced divers, offering reef, wreck and channel dives as well as Master and Rescue Diver courses. Those not yet certified can shorten the process before coming to the resort (from three or four days to just two) by completing the online portion of their instruction before arriving at the resort. Additional activities include sailing, water-skiing, parasailing, banana boating, jet skiing, paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaking and tennis. The Marine Center, staffed by marine biologists, hosts daily lectures and safaris to teach guests (and sometimes local school children) about the resident marine life. They run dolphin cruises and shark safaris and a turtle rearing and rescue program, which includes raising just-hatched turtles to juvenile size and then tracking their progress in the sea by satellite.

On the other side of the island from the water sports center is the main family pool, Café Huraa, gym and Kids’ Club, which serves as the other family hub. Tucked away on the tip of the island, the Reef Club features an adults-only infinity pool and tranquil beach of its own as well as an Italian restaurant. The Indian restaurant Baraabaru opens for dinner only and offers the prized spot on the water to view the sunset. These separate social zones allow for families and romantic couples to co-exist harmoniously on this small piece of paradise.

Who Should Stay

Those looking for a beach paradise with impeccable, friendly service and a commitment to marine education; the staff is amazing at deliver service, making you feel welcome and imparting their passion for the Maldives’ natural resources. If instead you are looking for a flashy scene, book elsewhere.

Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley

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